In the wake of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ remarks in Jacksonville on Tuesday, both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate have approved the state’s anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) legislation, dubbed SB 7054. The bill explicitly states that should the U.S. central bank, a federal agency, or a foreign government issue a CBDC, its use as a “digital medium of exchange” will be strictly forbidden in Florida.
Florida Aims to Protect Privacy with Ban on Central Bank Digital Currencies
On Wednesday, the Florida House of Representatives endorsed the anti-CBDC bill SB 7054 with an overwhelming 116-1 vote. This backing comes on the heels of the Florida Senate’s approval last week, which saw a 34-5 majority. Governor DeSantis has been vocal in his criticism of CBDC initiatives and asserting Florida’s refusal to accept “woke politics.” Unsurprisingly, he is eager to sign the bill, having initially requested its drafting in March.
Upon DeSantis’ signature, SB 7054 provisions will come into effect on July 1, 2023. The bill offers a comprehensive definition of CBDCs and outlines its primary objective: “to safeguard Floridians by banning central bank digital currencies.” The author of the legislation confirms that these regulations would have no bearing on state and local revenue or any indeterminate impact on Florida’s private sector.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has championed the bill and maintained that the Biden administration’s priorities will not find fertile ground in the Sunshine State. He argued on Wednesday that “The last thing our country needs is a federally controlled centralized bank digital currency (CBDC) weaponized by the Biden administration,” adding that it would merely enable unwarranted government surveillance of Floridians’ financial data. He emphatically declared:
Florida won’t let it stand.
Interestingly, several Democratic lawmakers in Florida also supported the anti-CBDC legislation. While opposition to CBDCs has been primarily associated with Republicans, U.S. presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. has cautioned against the potential for political suppression via CBDCs. “CBDCs grease the slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny,” Kennedy proclaimed just last month. Florida’s Republican representative Wyman Duggan expressed pride in witnessing the bill’s passage and its subsequent arrival at Governor DeSantis’ desk.
Duggan emphasized, “With this bill, we are looking to protect the privacy of Floridians, and I am so proud that we have seen support from leadership in our State that clearly cares about the wellbeing of our citizens.”
What are your thoughts on Florida’s anti-CBDC legislation? Do you believe other states will follow suit, or is this a unique stance taken by Florida? Share your opinions in the comments section below.